This Day In Music 19.04.2016
Alan Price was born on April 19, 1942, in Fatfield, County Durham, Northeast England. Alan was a natural, though largely self-taught musician, who began playing the old family piano at the age of seven. By his early teens he had become quite accomplished on piano, organ, guitar and bass, so it was clear early on that he was exceptionally gifted. By the late 50s, word had gotten out that he was one of the most impressive young musicians in Newcastle-on-Tyne.
At one time or another, Price found himself playing alongside one or more of all his later Animals colleagues, in groups like The Pagans, The Kansas City Five, The Black Diamonds, and The Kontours. He eventually formed his own band in 1961, which he named The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo. Initially the personnel was fairly fluid, but within 12 months they had established a settled lineup of Eric Burdon (vocals), Hilton Valentine (guitar), Chas Chandler (bass), John Steel (drums), and Price on keyboards Along with the move to London in January 1964, the band’s name was changed to The Animals.
It was their second single that put them on the map. Price’s hypnotic arrangement of the band's epic version of The House of the Rising Sun was released in June 1964 and went on to become a worldwide smash, topping both the UK and US charts.
Animals - House of the Rising Sun (clip, 1964)
Selling several millions copies, the record propelled the group to undreamed-of success. The Animals became the first British group after The Beatles to chart a Number One single in America. I’m Crying (written by Price and Burdon on the fly), Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, and Bring It On Home To Me followed in short order, and by the spring of 1965 they were established as one of the biggest, most popular R&B bands in the world.
The Animals - Bring It On Home To Me (clip, 1965)
The Animals released only three albums (The Animals, The Animals On Tour, and Animal Tracks) during their 1964-65 heyday.
Price left the band in 1965 to form the Alan Price Set but participated in three reunions of the Animals between 1968 and 1984.
Price has continued to perform regularly, compose new work and create musical arrangements. Touring the UK with his own band and others including the Manfreds, Maggie Bell and Bobby Tench.
In January 19, 1994, Alan Price was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Animals